6.1" Rare North Pole Dome Stromatolite Slice - 3.49 Billion Years

This is a 6.1" wide, polished slice of a rare North Pole Dome Stromatolite from Western Australia. Until very recently these Stromatolites were thought to be the oldest known stromatolites, dated to approximately 3.49 Billion Years, slightly older than the Strelley Pool Stromatolites. In 2016 it the discovery of potential trace fossils left by 3.7 Billion Year old Stromatolites in Greenland was announced. But some scientists still are debated whether these Greenland trace fossils were left by Stromatolites, or if they are organic in origin at all.

Stromatolites are the layered trace fossils of microbial life, primarily cyanobacteria. Some of them date back an astounding 3.4 billion years, making them the oldest record of life on planet Earth. Stromatolites and Microbialites were typically formed in shallow water by the growth of layer upon layer of cyanobacteria, a single-celled, photosynthesizing microbe. These layers often form very beautiful, and colorful banded structures in the rock.

These oxygen producing cyanobacteria, while so simple they even lacked DNA were responsible for possibly the largest changes the earth has undergone as they were the only major source of atmospheric oxygen critical for the development of more complex life.

Please note:Australia has export laws governing the export of all fossils. These specimens were exported legally with appropriate permits.
Microbial Mat
North Pole Done, Western Australia
Dresser Formation
6.1x4.5", .38" thick
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